New hospital chairman 'excited' by job

IPSWICH Hospital's new chairman has today spoken of his excitement at taking over the reigns of the troubled NHS trust.Mike Brookes officially stepped in to his new post on July 1 and says he is looking forward to the challenge, despite the hospital having an £11.

IPSWICH Hospital's new chairman has today spoken of his excitement at taking over the reigns of the troubled NHS trust.

Mike Brookes officially stepped in to his new post on July 1 and says he is looking forward to the challenge, despite the hospital having an £11.9m debt.

He said: “I'm genuinely excited. I have worked in the NHS for ten years, all of which have been filled with changes of one kind or another and I've felt very happy in dealing with this.

“I see the financial recovery plans as a very big and very exciting challenge.”

Mr Brookes, who also applied for the position of chairman for the region's new super-size Strategic Health Authority, lives just south of Chelmsford, but has no plans to move closer to Ipswich.

He said: “I am quite prepared to travel to where I need to be and don't think that affects my commitment to the role.

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“I have lived out of the catchment area of other places that I have worked and it has not been a problem.”

Mr Brookes cites the hospital's financial recovery as the number one priority for his first few months in the job, but was not prepared to comment on where he thinks things have gone wrong.

He said: “I will be working with the chief executive and the rest of the team, monitoring very closely where we are spending the money and looking at the transformation agenda.

“The hospital can't get to where it needs to be without significant changes in the way we do things.

“We need a total systems review of the way our fantastic people work here.”

Mr Brookes also said communication with staff is a top priority for him as changes are implemented.

He said: “We need to be making sure we clearly communicate the size of the problem, and how we propose to resolve it, to our staff.

“This is a team challenge and will require a team effort to overcome it.”

On a more positive note, Mr Brookes said he has been very inspired by what he has seen of the hospital so far and is particularly impressed with the plans for the new multi-million pound Garrett Anderson centre.

He said “I am very excited to see the new building in its infancy and when it's up and running it's going to be a tremendous improvement to the services we provide.

“I was delighted to be offered this position and look forward to taking the hospital forwards.”

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